HOMILY FOR THE FOURTH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME YEAR A (Our 2nd HOMILY)
Theme: A Message of Blessedness
Starting his public ministry with the Sermon on the Mount in the Gospel of Saint Matthew, Jesus began with a message of blessedness (makarios). To be blessed in this context means to be fortunate or to be happy; usually in the sense of being a privileged recipient of divine favor. May you share in this blessedness now and always, especially as you relentlessly make effort to be a peacemaker in your family and in your environments through Christ our Lord; Amen.
One of the things that certainly confront all of us on daily basis is how much hatred, disorder, war, destruction and disruption that is prevalent in our world today. Starting from our families, to our individual relationships, to our Church/Parish communities, to our minor and major towns and villages. Our countries and continents are not left out here. Starting from the Principality of Sealand, the least populated country, to China, the country with the highest number of human population, we see and experience an overflow of individual and collective human selfishness, wickedness and hatred which are the main roots for the lack of peace in the world. Another striking thing that follows this fact is also the reality that over 70 percent believe in God and at least passively or actively acclaim God as their Father. How come that with these multitude of people who acclaim God as their Father, the world is still in dire need of peace?
One of the eight beatitudes in the Gospel Reading of today (Mt 5:1-12) states clearly that “blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons (and daughters) of God.” One of the standards to measure how well we reflect our filial relationship with our Heavenly Father and Creator is how much of a peacemaker we are. Whether you are a Christian, a Muslim or you practice any other form of religion, your claim to have a Creator and Father is falsehood if you cannot contribute to the building up of peace in the world. It is very sad and disheartening to know that some persons have been brainwashed to believe that god is happy and pays unimaginable rewards when we make wars and conflicts to grow in the society. What an ugly lie! God is the King of Peace (2 Thess 3:16) and His sons and daughters must be peacemakers, dispensers of peace in our families, in our relationships, in our parishes, in our communities and in our world. Anybody who lays claim to the One True God as His/Her Father and Creator and who cannot contribute to the making of peace in the world is a deceiver both in the profession and practice of his/her religion. When you cannot make peace, your status as a child of God is in question!
Lord make us instruments of Your peace. Where there is hatred, let us sow love; where there is injury, pardon; where there is doubt, faith; where there is despair, hope; where there is darkness, light; where there is sadness, joy. May you find peace in full as you assist in making the world a peaceful place; Amen. Happy Sunday;
-Fr Cyril Unachukwu CCE